Tuesday, December 14, 2010

International Seminar on Gender Equality and State Intervention: Issues Ahead

We are delighted to advise you of a very exciting International Seminar on Gender Equality and State Intervention: Issues Ahead that was held at Punjabi University at Patiala, Punjab, India on October 28th and 29th, 2010. This event was organized by one of our "TWINS," the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Punjabi University at Patiala with support from UNESCO/UNITWIN (Paris).

From left to right: Chandana Dey, Malkit Kaur, Nandini Dey, H.S. Bhatti, and Gurmeet Rai in a pre-Seminar strategy session
The Seminar Coordinator, Professor Malkit Kaur, and the Head of the Department, Professor Harvinder Singh Bhatti, did an amazing job in pulling together experts and practitioners, spanning generations, from across India and beyond to discuss and debate, in plenary and working sessions, promoting gender equality and women's empowerment. In all, 50 papers were presented by Faculty and Degree Candidates on a range of timely issues, including:

  • Gender Equality and State Intervention
  • Gender, Culture & Violence
  • Gender Gaps in Access to Health, Education and Employment
  • Gender Responsive Planning and Gender Budgeting
  • Stories of Success and Struggle: Experiences of NGOs, Researchers, Academicians and Media
The inaugural address was given by Professor Pam Rajput of Panjab University, Chandigarh; Dr. Brenda Gael McSweeney of the Women's Studies Program, Boston University that anchors our UNESCO/UNITWIN on Gender, Culture and Development, gave a special address as the Chief Guest; and the Punjabi University's Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Jaspal Singh, gave the Presidential Address. The Seminar participants also included our UNITWIN Network Partners Dr. Arvinder Ansari from Jamia Milia Islamia University; Gurmeet S. Rai, Director of the Culture Resource Conservation Initiative (CRCI); and Chandana Dey, Co-founder of the Bhab Initiative.

The 50 substantive presentations brought out fresh insights, and we understand that a number of the papers will be finding their way into a publication. From our vantage point, and that of so many people who gave us feedback, the International Seminar was a 'smashing success', right from the substantive and moving opening ceremony, clear through to the valedictory session. The ensuing publication will doubtless constitute an insightful and important contribution to the field.